José Manuel Cruz was born on April 13, 1966 in Newark, New Jersey. In 1984 José graduated from Arts High School with honors in Art and in 1996 he graduated from New Jersey City University, Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Fine Arts.
José has been an Art educator since 1996 in and now teaching at James E. Shepard IB Magnet School in Durham and continues to work as a professional artist and photographer. For the last 40 years José has exhibited his works and continues to get involve artistically in community events and functions.
It started at the Newark Museum’s Elementary Art Exhibits to Galleries within the NJ/NY area, Puerto Rico and now in North Carolina. Jose has won several awards in exhibitions and at the SparkCon Street painting festival in Raleigh, NC where he now facilitates workshops at the North Carolina Museum of Art and at Jerry’s Artarama.
José has been commissioned on several occasions with the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation for his artistic talents in Painting and Street Painting.
José has been selected as one of the artist for the downtown signal box competition and being part of the GATEWAYS exhibition at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and having his work titled “Racial Profiling” as part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, DC.